The messenger logo

NGOs Demand Re-Qualification of Civil Activist’s Murder Case

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, October 15
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI) has addressed the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Georgia to “effectively investigate” the murder case of civil activist Vitaly Saparov, who was killed in the street on September 30 in Tbilisi.

According to the institute, since the murder is allegedly committed on xenophobic grounds, the criminal case should be re-qualified from the article of intentional murder and the investigation should take into account the aggravating circumstances.

TDI says Saparov might have become the victim of neo-nazi groups who are especially active during night hours and attack people.

"The Tolerance and Diversity Institute addresses the MIA to give a strict, timely and effective response to the offense allegedly committed by members of the neo-nazi groups,” the statement reads.

NGO Human Rights Inclusion and Development Center (HRIDC), where Vitaly Saparov used to actively work, believe the investigation is not going in the right direction.

“This is a crime committed under Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Georgia ... The murder of Saparov is committed by a group of hooligans, on the grounds of racial, religious, national or ethnic intolerance,” the NGO claims.

According to the Prosecutors Office of Georgia (POG), the case will be re-qualified in case new circumstances appear.

POG says they have arrested two men in connection to the murder. One face charges under Article 108 of the Criminal Code, which implies intentional murder (without aggravating circumstances) and another detainee has been charged under Article 376 which implies covering of the crime.

Vitaly Saparov was killed at the age of 25. For many years he was actively involved in teenagers' tolerance camps and other projects against racism, xenophobia and discrimination.